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VO2Max Test Results!

Let’s get this over with: 71.7

To be clear, I’m getting it over with just because I know some of you have been waiting, not because I am ashamed of it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Considering I was feeling a bit sick, it was out-of-season, and done on a recumbent bike (apparently numbers are approximately 5% higher on an upright bike) I am very happy with it!

What does it mean? It means that the maximum amount of oxygen my body can use is 4.779 Litres/minute. At a body weight of 66.68 kg, this works out to the magic number of 71.7 mL/kg/min. It puts me in the very top…of elite women athletes. For men, I barely rate! (For those interested, take a look at some of the records here). As we all know, cross-country skiers are the fittest athletes around, and the records prove it! To add some fuel to the fire (flame suit on) check out how those lowly hockey players rate (sorry, I know, they are bigger/stronger/blah blah blah.. and yes, I know, values can be significantly higher during ‘on ice’ tests, but what is considered significant? Hell, I’ll give ya 10%…still pretty weak!)

Some other thoughts on the results? What I find interesting is that my oxygen usage did not ‘plateau’ during the test. The value at which oxygen usage plateaus is typically the measure of where the max is. My values continued to climb until failure. I’m not sure exactly what it means when values don’t plateau, but my guess is this means my ‘legs failed me before my lungs did’ (to put it simply.) This is why I would like to re-do the test again when I am stronger/have some more miles in my legs.

Wattage? I failed at 380 Watts, while 300 Watts was ‘comfortable’ (relatively speaking of course.) Peak heart rate was 196 BPM and (a number I’ve never seen before) peak breaths per minute was 57. My lactate threshold is very close to the 300 Watt/175 heart rate mark (notice how I said that was ‘comfortable’ – this should put into perspective how painful the test really is!) If I had a power meter this would be useful! I will of course try to use this with the heart rate meter, but of course that has its limitations.

I’m hoping to go back and re-do the test on the upright bike later in the season and see how it goes! I’ll be sure to report back here if that happens!

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